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Melinoe (Μελινοε) was the ancient Greek goddess of ghosts, and propitiation-offerings made to the deceased.


Melinoe means Dark Thought, (from melas, black, and noe, mind). Melinoe seems to have only been worshiped in the Orphic Mysteries.


Melinoe was said to be the daughter of Zeus, who took the guise of Hades and seduced Persephone by the river Styx. Some traditions have attributed Melinoe as a daughter of Hades himself.


Melinoe wandered the earth every night with a train of ghosts, scaring anyone in their path. This was said to be the reason that dogs would bark at seemingly nothing at night. (She and her ghost train stalked the earth invisibly).


Orphic Hymn 71 to Melinoe (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :

"To Melinoe, Fumigation from Aromatics. I call, Melinoe, saffron-veiled, terrene, who from Phersephone dread venerable queen, mixt with Zeus Kronion, arose, near where Kokytos’ mournful river flows; when, under Plouton’s [Haides’] semblance, Zeus divine deceived with guileful arts dark Phersephone. Hence, partly black thy limbs and partly white, from Plouton dark, from Zeus ethereal bright. Thy coloured members, men by night inspire when seen in spectred forms, with terrors dire; now darkly visible, involved in night, perspicuous now they meet the fearful sight. Khthonion queen, expel wherever found the soul’s mad fears to earth’s remotest bound; with holy aspect on our incense shine, and bless thy mystics, and the rites divine."